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Matt Holliday sits again with mystery illness

Designated hitter Matt Holliday, reacting against the Rangers

Designated hitter Matt Holliday, reacting against the Rangers on Friday, June 23, 2017, missed his third straight game with an illness. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

CHICAGO — The mystery surrounding Matt Holliday was not solved Tuesday.

If nothing else, it deepened.

The veteran DH sat a third straight game with similar symptoms from an allergic reaction he had June 17 in Oakland.

Holliday saw a doctor Tuesday in Chicago and the blood work, Joe Girardi said, did not show anything.

But Holliday has not improved.

“Really not that much better,” Girardi said. “He says he feels bad. I said, ‘Exactly what does that mean? Is that like you’re achy, your muscles are sore?’ He said, ‘No, I just feel like somebody zapped me out of all my energy.’ And that’s kind of what I see from him. The blood work has come back fine and we’re still trying to figure out what is going on.”

Girardi did not discount the possibility of a DL stint and sending Holliday to see a specialist.

“I think if it doesn’t clear up fairly soon, it’s possible that you send him back to New York to be further evaluated, to see what’s going on,” Girardi said. “I would think if he’s not better in a day or two, you’d think about doing something [using the DL].”

Holliday, who was seen briefly in the clubhouse before Tuesday night’s game, is hitting .262 and slugging .511 with 15 homers and 47 RBIs in 68 games.

Romine at first

Though first baseman Tyler Austin was well enough to DH Tuesday night, Girardi wanted to keep him off the field because of nagging hamstring tightness. So backup catcher Austin Romine, who played a bit of first in the minors and has filled in here and there in the majors, started there instead.

“Very comfortable,” said Romine, making his fourth career big-league start at first (he had two starts there last season and one in 2015). “It’s pretty simple. It’s like catching — keep it front of you and catch anything thrown at you.”

Girardi said he is not concerned about Austin’s hamstring.

“He’s been playing with that in Triple-A,” Girardi said. “We’re just trying to watch it. I originally had him at first and changed my mind.”

Schmidt thrilled

Righthander Clarke Schmidt was in the middle of a stellar junior year for South Carolina when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Forty days after undergoing Tommy John surgery he was the first-round pick of the Yankees in the June draft, taken 16th overall.

“I wouldn’t say surprised,” Schmidt said about his draft position during a conference call. “More so I was just happy and blessed. To be taken by such a wonderful franchise and a historic franchise is a blessing.”

The 6-1 Schmidt had accumulated some impressive numbers before tearing his UCL April 20, going 4-2 with a 1.34 ERA, with 70 strikeouts and 18 walks in 60 1⁄3 innings.

Schmidt, who had the surgery May 3, said he and the Yankees have not discussed a timetable for his return, though doctors initially told him he could begin throwing around the three-month post-surgery mark.

With Ari Kramer


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